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Export Compliance Screening Process

From U.S. Postal Service Director Global Trade Compliance, on enhancements to the compliance checks in the export compliance screening process for PMEI/PMI/FCPIS Presort Drop Shipment, Commercial ePacket (CeP), International Priority Airmail (IPA) and International Surface Air Lift (ISAL). To download in PDF form click here.

Dear Customer:

International shipments of goods sent from the U.S., whether by mail or other delivery services, are subject to federal export laws and regulations that may require approval for, or otherwise restrict, what can be sent to certain countries, individuals, and entities for national security and foreign policy reasons. The Postal Service (USPS) and Postal Inspection Service work with other federal agencies, including Customs and Border Protection, the Bureau of Industry and Security, and the Office of Foreign Assets Control, to identify instances where the mail might be used to violate these and other federal laws.

Due to these federal export regulations, the USPS currently requires electronic customs information on all mail items that bear a customs declaration, in order to facilitate federal oversight. This applies to international mail, including mail destined to Canada, and to items mailed to overseas military and diplomatic Post Office addresses and non-military U.S. Possessions, Territories, and Freely Associated States.

Mailers who provide mailer-prepared PMEI Presort Drop Shipment, PMI Presort Drop Shipment, FCPIS Presort Drop Shipment, International Priority Airmail (IPA), International Surface Air Lift (ISAL) or Commercial ePacket receptacles must provide the item-level customs data and receptacle-level content data (“pre-advice”) for all associated items that have customs forms.

Receptacle pre-advice must directly associate each item with a single receptacle within the mailing (i.e., piece to bag). Each receptacle pre-advice file must provide an accurate listing of all receptacles and items in the physical mailing.

Item-level customs data includes shipment details for an individual package, such as sender, recipient, and content descriptions. Item-level customs data must correctly represent its corresponding reference information.

USPS has recently enhanced the compliance checks in the export compliance screening process.

The compliance checks focus on the following criteria:

  • Customs data must match the label information on the packages in all cases. Failure to provide the required electronic information in the proper format or any discrepancy of weight and/or destination country between actual packages and the electronic customs declaration information will be returned due to incorrect and/or insufficient information.

  • Customs data must be submitted at least two hours prior to the shipment being accepted at a USPS facility. Failure to submit this data timely can result in the shipment being returned to the mailer.

  • Customs label barcodes must be unique for at least 365 days from the date of acceptance, per Universal Postal Union requirements. To avoid packages being returned due to duplicate barcode issues, mailers and consolidators must ensure that the electronic data is an exact match. In order to ensure that the Postal Service can keep the mails safe and secure, it is essential that the Postal Service receive electronic customs data from mailers. All customs pre-advice generating system owners are required to enable the proper transmission of customs data to meet these requirements.

For additional information, please see Export Compliance Customs Data Requirements and PUB 199 on PostalPro.

Previous notification indicated that USPS would resume the compliance checks on February 15, 2018. We have extended that deadline until July 1, 2018 to allow mailers and software providers time to make the required updates and adjustments to ensure all data files are in compliance. If, after July 1, 2018, a shipper or mailer does not provide the required electronic information prior to the shipment arriving at a Postal Service facility, the mailing will be subject to refusal or return.

To check compliance, please review the Confirmation/Error/Warning report that is generated when Shipping Services Files are submitted. If you use a software vendor, they should be able to provide the Confirmation/Error/Warning report for your manifests. For more information, reference PUB 199, Section 5.

Thank you for your cooperation in this matter. If you need additional assistance, please contact your USPS operations integration contact.

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